Vietnam should go faster in reopening travel activities to initiate tourism and increase public direct investment as the country begins to recover from Covid-19 impacts, EuroCham stated.
Although Vietnam has been able to control the pandemic and life is returning to normal, some sectors remain at risk of falling behind in the race to recover post-pandemic, said EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany. "Tourism - one of Vietnam’s spearhead economic sectors and one which is responsible for millions of jobs - remains restricted to guided tours, and this is keeping the brakes on economic growth," he said in a statement. He encouraged the government to go further and faster in re-opening, at least in areas with high vaccination rates, so Vietnam could achieve its full potential as a leader in this and other industries and attract more foreign investment in 2022.
In the fourth quarter last year, the Business Climate Index (BCI), a quarterly sentiment barometer of European businesses in Vietnam, reached the highest point following the fourth Covid-19 wave last year. It rose to 61 points over 100, a jump of 42 points from the third quarter. This shows that European business leaders welcomed the end of lockdowns and re-opening of normal commercial operations, EuroCham added in the report.
"It is clear evidence that confidence is returning to the market." Fifty-eight percent of European business leaders are now anticipating economic stabilization and growth in quarter one of 2022. That represents an eight-point rise in optimism. Business leaders are also more confident about the prospects of their own enterprises in this post-pandemic ‘new normal’. Forty-three percent plan to increase their investment in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 17 percent in the third quarter.
"These latest figures are a vote of confidence in Vietnam’s trade and investment environment now that the pandemic is back under control as well as in the government’s clear direction that we learn to live with the virus," Cany said. Vietnamese officials are considering the resumption of international tourism after two years of restrictions due to the pandemic.
Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung told a forum Monday that the country now ranks sixth globally in vaccination speed and this could be an advantage for tourism recovery. But some factors are acting as barriers in the resumption process, such as inconsistencies in Covid-19 measures between localities, and that businesses have been weakened by long social distancing periods. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, under the tourism ministry, has proposed that the country fully welcome back international tourists starting May 1. Vietnam Airlines, which has resumed flights to Europe, has proposed that all restrictions be lifted as soon as Feb. 1.
Source: CCIPV / EuroCham / VN Express Internationall